July 2020 | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

The best of the week’s news by Lindsay Beyerstein

July 2020

Sidney's Picks: John Lewis & Sudden Evictions

Photo credit: 

John Lewis in 1965, Creative Commons. 

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • John Lewis’s final letter to the nation passed the civil rights torch to the Movement for Black Lives. (NYT)
  • It’s illegal for bosses to ask their workers about their plans to organize, but a third of Fortune 500 companies are using online surveys to identify and crush “union hotspots.” (One Zero)
  • Tenants in Philadelphia are being evicted without warning by an opaque, heavily privatized system. (Philly Inquirer)
  • How can television contextualize, dramatize, and analyze the Black Lives Matter moment?, asks Wesley Morris, naming five Hillman Prize-winners as scholars to ground this project in reality. (NYT)
  • Unable to delay the election, Trump schemes to derail it. (The Nation)

Sidney's Picks: An Eviction Crisis & A Constitutional Crisis

Photo credit: 

EVICT,” by Steve Rotman, Creative Commons

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • Millions of renters face eviction if Congress doesn’t act by Saturday. Some landlords illegally initiated eviction proceedings even before the moratorium expired. (Video) (ABC, NYT)
  • The constitutional crisis deepens as Oregon state lawmakers demand that the federal government withdraw its shadowy agents from Portland. Judge blocks federal agents from arresting legal observers. (PBSKVAL, Nation, AP)
  • Thousands of workers walked off the job, Monday as part of the Strike for Black Lives. (Yahoo)
  • Nationwide testing backlogs may be hiding the true spread of COVID-19, experts say. What looks like a plateau could instead be a maxed-out system. (NYT)
  • Jobless claims rise as the fate of the $600/week enhanced unemployment benefit remains undecided. (CNBC)

Sidney's Picks: Unmarked Feds Snatch Protesters; Goya's Dirty Labor History

  • Federal agents without badges are grabbing protesters off the street in Portland and throwing them in vans. (WaPo)
  • With Goya Foods in the news, let’s take a look back at their dirty campaign to deny their majority-Latino workforce a union contract. (American Prospect
  • How Trump and his cronies are exploiting the pandemic to bust unions. (New Yorker)
  • MO Death Trip: Missouri will spend $15 million in federal COVID relief funds on enticing tourists to the state. (KS Star)
  • NLRB seeks an injunction to force a Nevada gold mining conglomerate to recognize the union it says it illegally disregarded. (NV Independent)
  • Mask use is widespread in the US, but compliance varies dramatically by region. (NYT)

Sidney's Picks: Strike for Black Lives & COVID-19 in ICE Detention

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • More than 40% of staff at a massive ICE detention facility have tested positive for COVID-19. (USA Today)
  • OSHA has only issued one citation for a COVID safety violation and unions are demanding to know why the agency isn’t stepping up. (CNBC)
  • An in-depth investigation into everything that’s wrong with Florida’s COVID-19 data. (COVID-19 Tracking Project)
  • In a historic win for tribal sovereignty, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that eastern Oklahoma remains a reservation because Congress never revoked the treaty that created it. (ICT, SCOTUS Blog)
  • The death of Sha-asia Washington, a 26-year-old Brooklyn woman who died after a C-section is reviving urgent concerns about maternity care for Black women. (The City)
  • Indigenous-led research reveals new secrets about the mysterious Spirt Bears of British Columbia. (NYT/Flickr)

Sidney's Picks: Making Essential Workers Whole

Photo credit: 

 Shana-Kay Henry, a physician’s assistant in New York City holds up a card showing how much she owes in student loans, photo by Bayete Ross Smith, used with kind permission of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. 

  • Can student debt relief make our essential workers whole? (Guardian/EHRP)
  • How corporate America crushed workers’ rights, and how COVID could revive organized labor. (Bloomberg)
  • Silicon Valley billionaires are terrified of journalists. Good. (Vice) 
  • How Dollar Stores became magnets for murder. (ProPublica/New Yorker) 
  • Schools might be able to reopen safely in the fall, if we shut bars and gyms now. (WaPo) 
  • Over 300 kids have caught COVID-19 in Texas daycares due to lax safety measures. (Texas Tribune)